DENVER (KDVR) — A local builder is getting national attention for his show on the Home and Garden Network, better known as HGTV.
Rico Leon is the host of “Rico to the Rescue,” which premiered in January.
“I was going to sell Porsches with a good friend of mine, never made it,” Leon said.
About six years ago, Leon was driving to California for a new job when his car died in Denver, leaving him with the only option of taking a job in the city.
Fast forward to 2023, he now calls Denver home, owns several companies and has his own show on HGTV.
“I’m doing a completely new show based on what you do every day, which was pretty much this, emergency restoration and construction,” said Leon.
The concept for his show, Leon said, follows the work he’s been doing for years: home remodeling with a twist of blunt and honest truth.
“Everyone’s a salesperson right now,” Leon said. “Everyone’s like, ‘oh you could build the Taj Mahal in three months, oh my gosh thank you!’ That’s not reality.”
The stakes are high for his clients and for him as well, but Leon said he’s used to high stakes growing up in a strict home in Pittsburgh.
“She wasn’t the mom I wanted, she’s the mom I needed,” Leon said.
His strict upbringing gave him the work ethic to make it in the ruthless world of home renovation.
“At the time I was like, I hate this, but now I look back and I’m like, thank God she was that way,” Leon said.
His Hispanic roots are an inspiration to all of his work, especially now that he’s a Latino host on HGTV.
“People are like, ‘hey, you’re representing us man, make sure you do a good job!’ and I’m like, ‘yeah, don’t worry about it.’ Like, I got this. But it is a proud thing to kind of put on the resume for sure,” Leon said.
Leon has received calls to renovate homes around the country.
“There’s a huge amount of people that need help even outside of Denver,” Leon said. “So there may be a time where I travel to help people.”
However, he still calls Denver his home base.
“[I] fell in love with Colorado like everyone else and the rest is kind of history,” Leon said.
The season finale of “Rico to the Rescue” will air this Saturday at 7 p.m. local time on HGTV.