Independent polling has found 72 per cent of people aware of the Gorge Hotel plans were supportive of the proposal with supporters believing it would increase tourism, while opponents saw it as too high or big for the area.
Developer JAC Group commissioned EMRS to carry out the polling of 800 residents in the City of Launceston between July 8 and 15.
Respondents were first given a brief description of the Gorge Hotel, noting it had "won council approval" and outlining some features of the plans including rooms, location, conference centre, restaurant and gym.
An "initial" response was requested, before respondents were asked their views on eight statements about the hotel - four favourable such as job creation and increased tourism, and four unfavourable such as visual impact and congestion.
A final response was requested again, which was almost identical to the initial response of 72 per cent in favour, and 28 per cent opposed of those who had an opinion.
Polling commissioned to find out public's view
JAC Group managing director Dean Cocker said the polling was conducted in order to give an impression of the public's views on the Gorge Hotel, which was approved by council in June.
Launceston group Heritage Not Highrise lodged an appeal in the Resource Management Planning Appeal Tribunal, to be heard in early September, and also started a change.org petition.
Mr Cocker said the polling was conducted at arms-length from JAC Group.
"We left EMRS to do their thing, to make sure it was independent," he said.
MORE ON THE GORGE HOTEL PROPOSAL:
"I thought it was worthwhile, now that council has made its decision, that we get a sense of what support there is in the community so people understand that close to three in four Launceston residents are supportive.
"It was really about confirming what we believe - that it had overwhelming support."
The polling found respondents aged 55 years and over were less likely to be supportive, at 51 per cent, and females were also less likely to support it strongly than men.
The $50 million hotel is planned to be nine storeys in height.
Opponents question methods of poll
Launceston Heritage Not Highrise co-ordinator Jim Collier was concerned about some of the points omitted from the polling, and believed residents would have been less likely to support it if they knew how high it was going to be.
"The actual height of the proposed hotel is a massive 39.5 metres and I have serious doubts that the majority of respondents are actually aware of this which, in my opinion, is a deficiency reflecting on the credibility of this poll," he said.
"A question should have been asked in this respect along the lines of: 'Are you aware the proposed hotel will be 39.5 metres and do you think this is appropriate for the proposed location?'
Have your say: Do you believe the Gorge Hotel will be too tall?
"I genuinely believe the population is completely unaware of just how big the proposed hotel is."
A recent City of Hobart elector poll found 77 per cent supported putting in place hard building height limits.
Mr Collier believed a poll in Launceston would give a similar result, with the belief that the Tasmanian public was against highrise buildings.
Gorge Hotel polling method checks out
The EMRS poll into the Gorge Hotel largely checked out as "neutral", according to Tasmanian psephologist Kevin Bonham.
His only concern was the inclusion of the term "won council approval" in the introduction to respondents, but believed this only had the potential to marginally alter a person's preconceived view.
"When you say something like that at the start, you're priming respondents to think favourably," Dr Bonham said.
"If you're trying to gauge support or opposition, you should ask people up front with as little extraneous information as possible.
"The Hobart City Council poll on building heights asked people if they support the recommendation of planning officers. This was an argument for approving it."