Uber and Starwood join forces
NEW YORK » Uber is partnering with hotel chain Starwood to give riders a bit more incentive to choose the ride-hailing service over a taxi.
Uber passengers can now earn one Starwood rewards point for each dollar they spend on a ride in a car found through the San Francisco-based company’s mobile app. Guests spending the night at one of Starwood’s 1,200 hotels will earn two to four points per dollar spent, depending on their level of status with Stamford, Conn.-based Starwood.
Free hotel nights start at 3,000 points for the lowest tier of hotels, like the Four Points by Sheraton Tucson Airport in Arizona, and can be as high as 35,000 points a night for properties like the St. Regis Princeville Resort on Kauai.
This is the first global deal where ground transportation passengers can earn hotel points for trips. This potentially helps Uber in big cities such as New York; San Paulo, Brazil; and Bangalore, India.
Rent village and be deputy mayor
BUDAPEST, Hungary » If "king for a day" sounds too majestic, a small Hungarian village will let you become deputy mayor for a few days.
The village of Megyer, population 18, has put itself up for rent to companies and tourists.
For 210,000 forints ($750) a day, a prospective renter gets seven guesthouses that sleep 39 people, four streets, a bus stop, a barn, a chicken yard, six horses, two cows, three sheep and 10 acres of farmland — along with the possibility of temporarily being named deputy mayor of the village.
The hamlet dates back to at least the 11th century and is 120 miles southwest of Budapest.
Mayor Kristof Pajer said Wednesday that the silence of the countryside is its main attraction.
Among the privileges of deputy mayors, Pajer said, interim officials can rename the village streets during their stay.
Array of stars join Memphis fest
MEMPHIS, Tenn. » Lenny Kravitz, Paramore, Ed Sheeran, the Avett Brothers and John Fogerty are among the acts scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis.
Festival organizers announced the lineup for the three-day event Wednesday. The festival is set for May 1-3 at Tom Lee Park, which sits along the Mississippi River in Memphis.
The Pixies, Wilco, Hozier, Five Finger Death Punch, Band of Horses, St. Vincent and G-Eazy also are among the scheduled performers.