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Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill yesterday indicated he would consider another round of design changes, just days after unveiling a revised plan for the building.
He blamed media coverage of the new look for turning the public against the project, after the Otago Daily Time reported on Tuesday he was not happy with the latest design.
The new look had aimed to address criticism of the earlier 17-storey mirrored glass tower design, by ''dramatically'' reducing the building's height and appearance, among other changes.
However, Mr Tosswill also told the ODT the results were ''terrible'' and designed to ''get something built''.
''It's not a landmark. It's not going to be another Dunedin stadium, or anything like that, which I think is sad and a shame.''
But critics were still not impressed this week, as online commentators panned the building.
Of 1600 people responding to an online poll on www.odt.co.nz, 53% thought the new design was ''awful''.
Only 17% of respondents liked it, 18% said they did not mind it and 12% said it was not great, but better than the last design.
However, Mr Tosswill found supporters yesterday in Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and deputy mayor Chris Staynes, the chairman of the council's economic development committee.
Cr Staynes said design was ''in the eye of the beholder'' but the latest revision did not appeal to him.
''It just seems to me that it's - I hate to say it - but maybe a government building from the 1970s.
''It was a pretty bad looking building.''
Despite that, Cr Staynes said Mr Tosswill should be applauded for his persistence.
Tourism statistics underscored the ''constrained'' capacity of accommodation in the city, and a new hotel was desperately needed, he said.
He preferred the earlier glass tower design, and said it was ''sad'' Mr Tosswill's attempts to mollify critics had led to the latest revision.
''I feel sorry for him. I think, as a city, we're really, really lucky that he's prepared to put in all this effort to try and get something there and get it right.
''I think we've got to get a new hotel and I think it's a credit to Tony that he's trying to get the right thing there.''
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull would not comment on the latest design, but said he made ''no secret'' of his desire to see a hotel built on the site, opposite the Dunedin Town Hall.
''It's been on council's books for 20 years, for that purpose. I'd like to get a result that works for the developer and is acceptable to the community.''