AFM May Abandon Santa Monica

Mark Lacter reports in LA Biz Observed:
American Film Market considers move downtown: The group’s annual conclave has been at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel since 1991, but Loews wants more money, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sources tell The Reporter that Anschutz Entertainment Group, which manages the L.A. Live complex, has stepped in with an offer at a much lower cost than the Loews bid. Loews is said to have made a counteroffer earlier this week to try and retain the nearly two-week-long event, which each fall attracts more than 8,000 people involved in the independent production and distribution of movies from over 70 countries. IFTA estimates more than $800 million in transactions are done at the market on both competed films and pre-sales of movies in development.

The move wouldn’t be made until 2013. The people who favor it cite traffic, congestion and high prices at Santa Monica restaurants and businesses.