Facts About Rico To The Rescue Host Rico León

HGTV show "Rico to the Rescue" premiered in January 2023 to positive reactions on social media. The man at the center of the show, Rico León, is a fix-it professional who turns around nightmare construction scenarios, intervening with projects that have stalled out, talking to contractors who have gone incommunicado, or resolving disputes between insurance agents and homeowners. "People having a problem with their contractor call me to say, 'Rico, help me,'" he explains in the show's opening credits.

As a new host on the HGTV scene, León wants viewers to know who he is and why they should trust him. After all, the opening credits of the show call him "Denver's most trusted fixer." Thankfully, he introduced himself in a video for TikTok.

"I've done this for about 12 years," he said. "I have referred hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial roofing, residential roofing, construction, new development." That's all well and good, but who is he outside the show? Read on for the most important things to know about Rico Léon.

Rico León grew up in Pittsburgh with a strict family

Rico León grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He describes his mother in particular as very strict. "She wasn't the mom I wanted," he told KDVR, "she's the mom I needed." Nowadays, though, he looks back on his childhood a little differently. "At the time I was like, 'I hate this,' but now I look back and I'm like, 'Thank God she was that way.'" After all, that experience helped him develop the work ethic he thrives on today.

When he was a bit older, León worked for Roto-Rooter in Steel City. He told eXp Realty that he managed to learn many different aspects of the construction trade through that job, from hands-on experience with things like plumbing and demolition to office-based work like marketing.

León now lives in Denver, but he hasn't forgotten his black-and-yellow roots. That is to say, he's still a Steelers fan! He shares his love of the sports team often on Instagram, including one post where he posed at a Colorado rodeo, cowboy hat and all, with a father and son decked out in Steelers gear. The HGTV star captioned the post, "Steelers fans in Denver! Fan of both!"

He's a realtor, too

Rico León's main area of expertise is construction. On "Rico to the Rescue," he helps repair relationships between homeowners and contractors who aren't doing their job. If that doesn't work, he completes the renovation himself. In other words, his HGTV show is built around people who already have homes and are making changes, often as a result of emergency situations like fires.

León has branched out into real estate. "I've always been insanely good when it came to marketing," he told the "Michael Valdes Global Podcast" (via YouTube). While working in construction, he would help realtors with their marketing at no charge, and then they would refer him customers who wanted to build homes from the ground up. However, he realized that this deal wasn't working out for him; he would be making much less building a home from scratch than the realtors would for facilitating the land purchase. "That was the main reason I got into the real-estate side."

These days, León still works as a realtor. However, as before, he focuses on the marketing of it all. He helps drum up leads, which go to his business partner. He's also excited about the future now that he has a platform. "[I'm looking forward to] growing the celebrity side of it, the influencer side of it," he told eXp Realty. "I'm going to be doing things that are going to be crazy in the real estate realm."

He's proud to make history

Rico León's family is from Puerto Rico, and he makes sure to shout out his heritage on Instagram, captioning one photo with a Puerto Rican flag, "Gotta rep PR." This makes "Rico to the Rescue" a historic HGTV show, because León is the first Latino host on the network. His website points out that HGTV "has been criticized for its lack of Latino representation in recent months," making his visibility on television all the more important. Here's hoping his becomes the newest bingeworthy HGTV show.

Fans are taking notice, too. The multi-hyphenate contractor and host told KDVR, "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."

Representation is important, but for León, there's more to it than just that; his Hispanic heritage actually helps him in his day-to-day job. "Being fluent in Spanish does help tremendously, especially in construction, since construction has such a huge Hispanic base," he told 9News (via YouTube). He added that he helps translate when working with Spanish-speaking homeowners, too, as not all contractors know the language. "Being able to [translate] during an insurance claim or during a construction job does help a lot." 

Anger motivates Rico León

Real-life renovations can be frustrating. In the first episode of "Rico to the Rescue," Rico León helps a family named, ironically, the Carpenters. Even though Anne Carpenter was pregnant, the contractor who was supposed to renovate their basement left the project unfinished for months and sent condescending texts. When León got a peek at Anne's messages, he said, "This angers me" (via HGTV).

It turns out that righteous anger is a motivating force for León to help other people, which is part of what sets his show apart from others on HGTV. While speaking on the "Michael Valdes Global Podcast," León recounted that he was tired of finding himself getting the short end of the stick while helping facilitate multi-million dollar deals. He decided to start his own company so that he would no longer miss out on referral fees. "I did it almost out of anger," he said, also speaking about his own issues with shady contractors (via YouTube). "I just learned so many lessons, and instead of just like, crying about it, I just created solutions."

Ahead of the premiere of "Rico to the Rescue," León told HGTV that the advice he shared on the show would come from those kinds of experiences with difficult renovations. He pledged, "Since I've been in so many bad contractor situations myself, I want to educate homeowners about what exactly to do in every type of scenario."

He wound up in Denver by accident

These days, Rico León may be "Denver's most trusted fixer," but in an interview with KDVR, he revealed that he never planned to live in Colorado. In the mid-2010s, León was on his way out to California to start a new life. "I was going to sell Porsches with a good friend of mine. Never made it," he said. León was crossing the Centennial State when he ran into car trouble.

"My car actually, like, exploded," he told 9News (via YouTube). "It was like an actual, like, an event. But then I was forced to stay here, and then of course, like everyone else, fell in love with Colorado. ... I was just like, 'This is a breath of fresh air.' I've been here since."

In the years that he's lived in the Mile High City, León has gotten involved in the community. For a while, he hosted a podcast dedicated to interviewing local Denver business owners, according to an interview in Defined Magazine. He also regularly shares snapshots of his life online, attending events put on by community organizations like the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (via Instagram). Now that "Rico to the Rescue" films in the city, it's safe to say that Denver is León's new hometown.

Rico León has his own production company and consulting business

Rico León is a busy man. In the years before his starring role on his own HGTV show, he formed a number of companies. There is Black Dane Productions, perhaps named for his adorable dog Nova, who appears on his Instagram. There's another production company, too; this one is called Par 3 Productions, clearly named for his love of golf, and there's a section on the company website inviting users to pitch ideas for television shows.

Construction-wise, León is involved with the Goat Development Group. He's also listed as the VP of marketing at Red Hawk Roofing. He works in real estate as an agent through DaVinci Realty. He's also been a podcaster, though his archive seems to have been removed from the internet. In a 2018 interview with Defined Magazine, he spoke about also running The Future Consultants. "If you add value, expand your network, and know how to utilize and leverage interpersonal interactions, then you are creating a great reputation for yourself," he said.

After "Rico to the Rescue" premiered, León joined the team at eXp Realty, where a press release said he would "further tap his vast network and generate income leveraged from his various businesses." We're exhausted just reading about those businesses!

He turns up on the links

Rico León knows how important it is to relax, too. He told HGTV he started golfing as a way to take time off as he was entering his 30s. "I picked up golf as a hobby and ended up being pretty good," he said. "The rest is history."

Now that he's in Colorado, León is still devoted to the game; he even took the crew of "Rico to the Rescue" to hit some balls together at a Topgolf, and he tweeted a video of himself driving balls while on a break from filming the show (via Twitter).

Thanks to some help from his production company Black Dane, León regularly shares Instagram videos of himself on the green. He can be found ordering a comical amount of alcohol from the bar cart (via Instagram). Sometimes he has to dodge balls hit by his buddies (via Instagram). In one memorable video, León attempts to figure out what kind of music will help him hit better (via Instagram). He plays some Lady Gaga, some rap, some opera, and some Kenny Loggins, but nothing seems to work; he ends the video by tossing his club and asking the existential question all golfers can relate to once they've spent too much time on the course: "What's my life even about?"

Rico León volunteers with horses

Despite his packed schedule, Rico León still finds the time to volunteer for a cause he cares about: saving horses. In a video to help raise funds for a horse rescue called Journey with Equus, León described his love of the organization.

"When I'm not helping homeowners with crooked contractors, I'm out here with David helping these horses, which in turn are helping other people," he said (via YouTube). The rescue takes in horses that otherwise would have been sent to slaughterhouses, allowing them to live out the rest of their lives in wide-open pastures. Unfortunately, a 2022 storm ruined several of the rescue's enclosures, and León jumped in to help with the group's GoFundMe.

León doesn't just help with publicity for the horses — he rides them, too! In 2021, he shared an Instagram photo of himself atop a horse named Davi, hashtagging the snap #ColoradosBest. "Rico to the Rescue" fans will also recall that at the end of the Season 1 finale, León, in his own words, "rode off into the sunset" (via Instagram).

He's dedicated to his fitness

On "Rico to the Rescue," host Rico León occasionally gets down to the business of home renovation himself, swinging sledgehammers alongside his team. Naturally, León is in great shape. In an Instagram photo of himself at the gym, the reality star gave fans a glimpse at how he stays demolition-ready. "My days start at 5 a.m.," he captioned the snap. "You can work out, shower, eat breakfast, follow up with all your emails and texts, all by 8 a.m. Makes the rest of your day easier!"

A typical gym workout isn't the only way León maintains his physique. He's also a boxer! In 2018, he shared that he would be appearing in a documentary, which would include his time in the ring. "Lead male role in a documentary, shooting a boxing scene!" he wrote on Instagram. However, details were scarce. "Unfortunately can't talk about the documentary." According to his IMDb profile, the documentary doesn't seem to have ever materialized. Nonetheless, ever the networker, León makes friends at the boxing gym, too. In 2018, he posed with a fellow boxer and promoted his new connection's app (via Instagram). 

Rico León loves helping others

Throughout all of his jobs, one thing has been consistent in Rico León's life: how much he loves helping other people. To hear him tell it, it's precisely the reason why he's been so successful. While speaking with 9News, he said, "When I started my own company, it just blew up mostly because I was educating homeowners, versus just getting the dotted line signed" (via YouTube). That was his drive when he worked as a consultant, too.

León tries to give away all of the industry knowledge he's accumulated online for free. On his TikTok account, he posts videos with captions like "Been screwed out of commissions? Try this." Over on his YouTube, his channel boasts videos like, "How I Sold Over 10 Million in Fire Claims in 2020!" León reveals, "It's no secret, just care and tell the truth."

He's found a new direction thanks to the success of "Rico to the Rescue." While working with eXp Realty, he acknowledged that the show has brought him the chance to help even more people than he could reach before. "It's a weird feeling and I'm very grateful for it," he said. "It's given me my 'why.' It won't hit me until it's out there. When someone tells me the show has helped them, that's when it will hit."