Tywyn relies heavily on tourism and swells with visitors during summer
Coastal defence proposals for a seaside resort have been backed by residents who feared a council scheme could have a damaging impact on tourism.
Gwynedd council commissioned an independent report after the people of Tywyn objected to its plans to use large boulders against coastal erosion.
Protesters claimed they would have made the sands unusable for beach users and could have driven tourists away.
Mike Stevens, chairman of the Tywyn and Aberdyfi Coast Protection Group, described the new proposals as "quite breathtaking".
The town's seafront regularly suffers from flooding, most recently in 2001.
The proposals unveiled by ABP Marine, which include the building of two concrete headland breakwaters jutting out from the beach into the sea and the repair of the concrete steps along the Victorian front, have been warmly received by local people.
Mr Stevens, who had proposed building two large fish-tailed groynes - walls built out into the sea - said: "I think the plans are quite breathtaking and would make Tywyn seafront very attractive.
"Many people are massively optimistic and some are ecstatic and said this could be the making of the town and the whole area.
"It would refurbish the famous Tywyn steps on the front of the promenade which would be a big advantage."
Mr Stevens said the Welsh assembly had identified match-funding for the scheme which meant £7m could be made available.
Mid and West Wales Conservative AM Lisa Francis said: "I actually believe this is the best way forward and I think what the consultants have come up with takes everybody's point of view into consideration.
"The two breakwaters will hold the beach and fit in aesthetically."
The scheme will now need to meet the approval of Gwynedd council's planning committee and would be expected to take 18 months to build.