Catch and release: CSU alumni land Potts shark, then return it

From left, Kiki and Drew Anderson, Kiki’s brother Jimmy MacMillan, Cammy MacMillan and her boyfriend Steve Ponce pose with the shark at the old Campus West location of CB & Potts. Photos courtesy of Kiki Anderson

The C.B. & Potts shark has resurfaced, and it’s heading for home.

The iconic 15-foot retired movie prop that hung from the ceiling of Potts’ former Campus West location was successfully auctioned off this spring to raise money for CSU’s Fermentation Science and Technology Program.

Potts officials announced the opportunity to “Hook the Shark” at the April 9 grand opening of their new Foothills Mall restaurant and taproom. Kiki and Drew Anderson, CSU alumni who had a weekly date night at Potts while in college, paid the winning bid of $4,000 at the conclusion of the three-week auction. The 250-pound shark, which wears a No. 22 CSU football jersey, had always fascinated the Denver natives.

“We used to wonder who dressed him, and how they washed his shirt,” Kiki recalls with a laugh.



Kiki and Drew during their college days.

A sister’s gift

When the Andersons couldn’t find the shark at the new Potts location, a server gave them a flier about the auction. Kiki, who majored in zoology, thought her sister Cammy MacMillan would like the shark because she’s a fashion designer who loves oversized objects. MacMillan’s collection includes an 8-foot-tall cell phone, large kitchen utensils, massive wine bottles, towering pencils and gigantic aspirin pills. They sent MacMillan a photo of the shark.

“Cammy got so excited, because it was wearing a T-shirt and was huge,” Kiki says.

But it turns out that transporting the shark to MacMillan’s home in California proved too difficult, so the Andersons have decided to simply donate the money to the FST Program and release the shark back to Potts.

Drew Anderson looks the gift shark in the mouth.
Drew Anderson looks the gift shark in the mouth.

The shark will be suspended from the ceiling at the Foothills Mall location on Oct. 8, and the public is invited at 11 a.m. to enjoy the festivities before the Homecoming football game.

But first, it will swim in CSU’s Homecoming Parade the day before, capping off a “Shark Week” campaign by Potts that will feature food and drink specials as well as other festivities.

CSU and Potts officials announced the shark’s voyage on Sept. 9, at a tapping party for “End of the Food Chain Stout,” a commemorative beer honoring the shark that was crafted by teaching assistants for CSU Professor Jack Avens’ brewing science class (FTEC 460) in collaboration with Potts brewers Joe Bowden and Jeff Eaton. While it lasts, the beer will be available at Fort Collins Potts locations as well as the Ramskeller in the CSU’s Lory Student Center.

Cammy MacMillan sporting the shark jersey
Cammy MacMillan sporting the shark jersey

‘Belongs at Potts’

“We didn’t want to take him away from his home,” Kiki Anderson says of the decision to return the shark. “He belongs at C.B. & Potts.”

But that doesn’t mean her sister won’t have an ongoing relationship with the shark — at least with its threads. MacMillan, who owns a fashion line called Foxbait, plans to create various shirts for the shark, expanding the current one-jersey wardrobe. Options for the new garb include holiday/seasonal themes, a pink shirt for breast cancer awareness, as well as uniforms of the Broncos, Avalanche and Nuggets, to be worn on those teams’ game days.

“Maybe she could do a white one and a green one, so that we have CSU home and away jerseys,” Anderson says.

The timing for the donation is right. She and Drew are entering Colorado’s burgeoning craft brewing industry. They recently bought a 27-acre farm adjacent to their home near Douglas Reservoir that has 3 acres planted in hops.

The Andersons with their dogs and two children, Darius and Cyrus

At CSU, Drew, who majored in corporate finance, minored in construction management and went on to earn a second bachelor’s degree in agricultural business, did a senior project on dry hops production in Colorado, and the couple plans to expand the farm’s yield. All of the hops grown there were sourced from CSU’s hops breeding program.

“We’re really excited to produce hops,” Kiki says, adding that she is open to CSU Fermentation Science and Technology students visiting the farm. “Maybe they could get a feel for the growth process and learn about when they are ready to pick. And we hope to connect some local brewers to our local hops.”

Veterinary background

Anderson’s zoology major is not her only connection to sharks and other animals. After attending CSU, she got her veterinary technician degree from Front Range Community College and interned at CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a semester. Now Anderson uses that expertise as a volunteer with the Larimer Humane Society.

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Kiki at the hops farm

She and Drew had mutual friends in high school, but didn’t really bond until they had an 8 a.m. chemistry class together at CSU their freshman year. They were roommates in 2007 but didn’t start dating until a year later, when they began attending bingo and trivia nights at Potts.

“The shark was always the center of much speculation,” she says. “We wondered things like whether he was from the movie Jaws.” (He’s not.)

MacMillan recently came to Fort Collins to see the shark she would be dressing — and to take his jersey home to use as a pattern for future attire. Kiki Anderson says that when they visited the shark in the old Campus West Potts location, they left a memento.

“We wrote the shark a note and put it in his mouth,” she says. “We hope it can travel with him like a little time capsule. It said, ‘Welcome to the family, we can’t wait to dress you!’”

The Fermentation Science and Technology Program is part of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

The shark as it appeared in its old home, the former Campus West location of C.B. & Potts. Photo courtesy of C.B. & Potts