Diamond sparkles on first day of trading on New York Stock Exchange

Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts International, a vacation home ownership management company with 296 destinations in 32 countries, completed its first trading day on the New York Stock Exchange on a positive note Friday after its initial public offering priced below its expected range.

The company’s stock closed at $16.15 Friday, 15.4 percent above its opening price of $14.

The company raised $217 million in its IPO, selling 15.5 million shares at $14, which was below the expected price range of $16 to $18.

The company, headed by founder and chairman Stephen Cloobeck, plans to use proceeds from the IPO to repay debt and expand.

In Las Vegas, the company operates the Polo Towers, the Carriage House, and the Cancun and Desert Paradise resorts.

Cloobeck was one of the early leaders of the development of Brand USA, the public-private effort to market tourism to the United States abroad, serving as chairman of the formative Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2011.