A plan to demolish the traditional seafront funfair at Rhyl, replacing it with a multi-million pound development, has been backed by council planners.
Work could begin by the end of 2007, if plans are approved
More than 200 apartments, cafes, a supermarket, pubs and offices are planned for the site.
Rhyl includes some of the most deprived areas in Wales, and the scheme is part of ongoing investment in the resort.
Denbighshire's full council will now consider the Ocean Beach plan, when a final decision will be made.
The local authority's planning officers had recommended the scheme for the West End of the town for approval, subject to conditions.
The proposed £85m scheme put forward by Manchester company Modus Properties includes apartments, offices and a hotel, but not the historic funfair.
The redevelopment is also offering affordable housing and a conference centre.
The company says the project would have a continental feel with an urban park and a modern boulevard. They believe it would be a landmark development in the future of the town.
Development Director Damian Flood said: "We are very pleased to have overcome this first planning hurdle.
The traditional seafront will go if the plans win final approval
"There is still a long way to go and we will now start preparing for the referral to the Welsh Assembly Government.
"However, we are still happy with the significant step forward the scheme has taken. With everything going to plan, we should be on site by the end of 2007."
Town councillor Ian Armstrong said the development would change Rhyl's image for good.
"I think it's a good thing, not only for Rhyl West, the whole of Rhyl will benefit from it . "Rhyl West and the whole of Rhyl is on the up, there's no doubt about it," he said.
John Povah, a retired fisherman who lives in the area, said: "Anything's got to be better.
"This new complex could make a huge difference to the West End."
But some people who cater for the tourists attracted by the promenade say the town will lose out and the new scheme offers little for visitors.